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Issue № 32. June 2012

Theoretical and Methodological Problems of Political Communication Studies in Russian Political Science

Sergei V. Lebedev

Graduate student, School of Public Administration, Lomonosov Moscow State University.
E-mail: sergei.lebedeff@gmail.com 

This article is devoted to the analysis and systematization of theories of communication, developed by Russian political scientists. During the Soviet period communication science in Russia was oppressed by dominant ideology that forced social scientists to study the economic “base” ignoring the “superstructure”. However, Soviet social scientists frequently managed to find loopholes in censorship barriers and published papers, contradistinguishing mass communications in the Soviet society and western nations, stressing the manipulative and oppressive role of the latter and praising the first for enlightening the soviet people and spreading humanistic values. After the collapse of the USSR communication studies in Russia found a new lease of life. However, unlike western social scientists their Russian colleagues tend to focus more on qualitative research ignoring the prospective of quantitative methods.  Among the particular spheres of interest one should mention history of mass communications, specific forms of political communication – like propaganda or advertising and specific forms of political consciousness that can be interpreted through the communicative paradigm. On the other hand, several Russian political scientists tend to implement cutting-edge developments in cognitive psychology and political economy and apply them to political communication research.  This group constitutes the “empirical school” of Russian communication studies.

Keywords

Political communication, communication science, political science, ideology, political consciousness, propaganda, advertising, mass communication.

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